HINGHAM, Mass. Talbots reported that on a reported (GAAP) basis, operating income for the first quarter was $2.9 million, or 0.9% of net sales, an increase of $25.1 million compared with prior year’s operating loss. Adjusted first quarter income from continuing operations increased $34.1 million to $21.7 million or 38 cents per share.
Total sales increased 4.7% to $320.7 million, compared with $306.2 million last year. Comparable-store sales increased 2.4% in the quarter, due to continued improvement in full- price selling. Store sales were $257.6 million versus $256.4 million last year.
“We are pleased with our first quarter results,” said Trudy Sullivan, Talbots president and CEO. “Our performance in the quarter, which exceeded our expectations, was driven by top-line sales growth, significant gross margin expansion and continued strong inventory and expense management. With a strong start to 2010, improving fundamentals and a solid balance sheet, we will remain focused on driving sustainable profitable growth of the business over the long term.”
The company continues to anticipate top-line sales increase in the range of approximately 3% to 5% for the full year compared with the prior year period. Full-year adjusted earnings per share from continuing operations are anticipated to be in the range of approximately 75 cents to 83 cents per share, excluding merger-related costs, restructuring and impairment. This compares with an adjusted loss per share from continuing operations of 10 cents reported last year.
For the second quarter 2010, the company anticipates top line sales increase of approximately low single digits. Adjusted earnings per share from continuing operations are anticipated to be in the range of approximately 0 cens to 5 cents per share, excluding merger-related costs, restructuring and impairment compared to last year’s adjusted loss per share from continuing operations of 33 cents.